Scholarship Essay Contest

2018 Essay Theme



About Our Scholarship Essay Contest

2018 is the 21st year of our essay contest. Each spring, the Connecticut Chapter awards two $1,000 scholarships to Connecticut high school seniors who win our essay contest. As of 2018, we will have awarded over $35,000 in scholarship money!

Awards are announced in late May, and a check is mailed directly to each winner's institution of higher learning in August.

2018 Winners Announced!

This year's theme, "Making the Case for Home Fire Sprinkler Systems", generated a lot of interest from high school seniors around the state. The winners, besides submitting the best essays, both related in real life to fire prevention efforts. 

Jayce Antrum, a graduate of Bristol Central High School in Bristol, Connecticut, experienced a devastating house fire when he was 12 years old. His family survived, but he will never forget the emotional and financial toll it took on them. Jayce is studying at UCONN bound as a 2nd generation “Husky” and has expressed his gratitude for scholarship to help defray his higher education costs.

Abigail Huebner, our second winner, is a graduate of Joseph A. Foran High School in Milford, Connecticut. Her father is a retired fire fighter and fire captain so she knows fire prevention from a very real perspective. Abigail is studying at Messiah College in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.

Thanks to the generosity of our members and to the AFSA National Matching Grant's program, each student was awarded a $1,000 scholarship paid directly to their university. 

Congratulations to both winners!


*This Scholarship Essay Contest is open to Connecticut high school seniors.

*Scholarship funds are payable to the winner’s college/university or certified trade school in the United States; winner must enroll for classes beginning no later than Fall 2018 session.

*Each entry must include a Completed Application, Essay and one Recommendation Letter and must be received by the Executive Director of the Connecticut Chapter of the American Fire Sprinkler Association by May 15, 2018. 

*Winners are announced in late May.

2017 Winning Essay #1

Winner #1 (Marine Science Magnet High School)

  The Impact of a Fire Sprinkler System   

Fire Sprinkler systems have played a huge part in the lives of many families. Ever since I was a little kid, I was constantly wondering about how things in life worked, as most children do when they are younger. One of the things in life I questioned, was how the fire sprinkler system functioned. As I grew older, I researched what fire sprinkler system exactly is and how they are very important in not only saving lives. The NFPA Fire Sprinkler Initiative is focused on bringing fire sprinkler systems into the average residential home, because “we are not at greatest risk from fire in hotels or other public places; it is at home, where most of us feel the safest, that we are actually at highest risk of fire.” This is eye-opening, because one would normally not think of the home as the place where fire occurs the most. However, since homes do not have the same safety codes as businesses, which are required to have state of the line automatic fire sprinkler systems that most residential homes do not have (“How sprinklers work”). As a result of not having fire extinguishing technology, residential homes have been deemed the most vulnerable to internal fires. This statement is supported by the Concord Department of Fire and Life Safety, which states “In the year 2000, 73 percent of structure fires occurred in residential Structures” (“Fire Suppression Operations in Residential Occupancies equipped with Residential Fire Sprinkler Systems”). According to the Free Dictionary, a fire sprinkler “is a system for automatically extinguishing fires in a building, consisting of overhead waterpipes with outlet valves that open at a certain temperature.” (“How Sprinklers Work”).  This system is unique, because the water for the system is “always in the piping”  (“How Sprinklers Work”). The fire sprinkler system, after it has been activated, “sprays water forcefully over the flames, extinguishing them completely in most cases, or at least controlling the heat and limiting the development of toxic smoke” (“How Sprinklers Work”). The development of toxic smoke is one of the leading causes of death within a residential home, not the flames from the fire. For one to increase their chances of surviving a fire, “having a residential fire sprinkler system installed in your home can increase your survival expectancy during a fire by 80%” (“Why Are Fire Sprinkler Systems Important?”). By having an automatic fire sprinkler system in your home, you are not only ensuring a greater chance survival for your family, but insuring that your house will not burn down as well. Even though you may think that your family is safe, a fire sprinkler system is the safest way to go, because a fire may threaten your home at any time.                

Works Cited

"Fire Suppression Operations in Residential Occupancies Equipped with Residential Fire Sprinkler Systems.” Fire Suppression Operations in Residential Occupancies Equipped with Residential Fire Sprinkler Systems. Concord Department of Fire and Life Safety FIRE MARSHAL’S OFFICE, 01 Sept. 2005. Web. 14 Apr. 2017.   

“How sprinklers work.” Fire Sprinkler Initiative. NFPA, 2017. Web. 14 Apr. 2017.


“Why Are Fire Sprinkler Systems Important?” Why Are Fire Sprinkler Systems Important? Kauffman Co., 18 June 2015. Web 14 Apr. 2017.